If you hadn’t already worked it out by now; I Love Yoga! It is the perfect combination of movement, strength, flexibility, and breath that for me becomes a mindful and meditative practice. You don’t have to already be flexible to start, your flexibility grows with your practice. As does you peace of mind and inner calm. Something you can carry with you throughout the day.
As well as being good for your body, yoga has taught me a lot of other things to take into my day-to-day life as well and I thought it might be something interesting to share.
Life lessons yoga has taught me
Yoga has taught me a lot about myself, my mind and my body.
1.Just because you can’t now doesn’t mean you won’t
I can try a yoga pose one day and struggle to achieve it because my balance, strength or flexibility aren’t quiet there yet.
But if I keep practicing, working on basic poses and stretching I’ve found that I can try that pose again a few weeks later and do it with ease, or I can keep trying that pose every day and working until I can achieve it.
It’s amazing what your mind and body can do if you just put in the work and keep trying. Just because you didn’t achieve something the first time doesn’t mean you can’t.
And it’s the same in life. Nothing is ever a ‘failure’, it’s just a hiccup, a stumble, and lesson to learn on your way. If you keep trying and keep working at it (whatever ‘it’ is) you will get there in the end!
2.You are stronger than you think
Even on my worst illness days my body still surprises me at how strong it is. Just when I think I haven’t got the strength to handstand I try anyway and I can. Often better than I have done before…
It just goes to show that whatever the situation you are stronger than you think. Not just physically but mentally and emotionally too.
So whatever the situation, if you think you can’t handle it, know that you can. You are so much stronger than you think and you can handle more than you know. So try anyway.
3.You have to push through the discomfort to get the results you want
Any growth or change in life requires some discomfort. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, pushing your limits. Just look at the caterpillar and it’s journey into a butterfly, or a seed that has to split its self apart before it can become a plant or tree.
Yoga is no different.
In a similar way that muscles cannot grow without being ripped apart to form new muscle, if I want to elongate or stretch muscles I must practice stretching and pulling them past a comfortable position, the discomfort passes with time and the stretches become easier. Then you just repeat the process.
It is the same if I want to increase my stamina in an asana or position. I have to push past the point of comfort and tune in to the details of my body and muscles if I want to improve and get better.
And it is the same in life too. You have to push past the discomfort and the fear of you want to achieve your dreams and goals. Anything that in new and uncharted territory will cause your instincts to try and ‘protect’ you. This is just human instinct.
If you want to get the results you have to push past these fears and do it anyway.
Full disclosure: This clearly isn’t me in these yoga pics! I’d like to think I look this good, but this is the lovely @jessicaolie If you are looking for some yoga inspiration I would definitely recommend checking her and her friend and fellow yogi @findingmorgantaylor out!!
4.Showing up and putting the work in is half the battle
Even on days when I don’t feel up to it I still roll out my mat and start my practice. Even if it’s just stretching something is better than nothing, and most of the time once I start I want to keep flowing. And I definitely always feel better afterwards for doing my practice.
So even if you’re feeling tired or unmotivated, or there is something else that’s putting you off showing up. Show up anyway.
Keep working. Keep showing up. Sit down and start and you might surprise yourself.
Keep practicing, keep trying, keep failing forward. Each failure makes you stronger until you can do the thing you were working towards.